Seniors head toward a variety of post-graduation plans
By Zack Doherty, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, June 8, 2012
As their undergraduate careers wind down and seniors enjoy their remaining days on campus, members of the Class of 2012 are preparing to take the next step in their lives. Students interviewed by The Dartmouth, who will engage in a wide array of post-graduation experiences, generally expressed enthusiasm about their plans.
Most students will begin their careers after graduation and will be living in the Northeast region of the United States, according to an online survey of 214 graduates conducted by The Dartmouth.
Of respondents, approximately 78 percent indicated that they will be working in the upcoming year. Over 80 percent of those working will begin their jobs during the summer, while the rest will begin after September.
Several students said that their current employment will likely serve as a starting point for future goals and career plans.
“I think my job will be a good place to start because I am interested in finance,” Jen Zhao ’12, who will be working as an investment banking analyst in San Francisco, said. “I’m still not sure what my long-term goals are. However, I think being able to work with a lot of different companies and clients will expose me to different industries and help me learn about their specific needs and characteristics. Eventually I want to do something more firm-specific, but I am still really excited about what I am going to be doing now.”
Roughly 40 percent of seniors who responded to a Career Services questionnaire in March had accepted job offers, according to Monica Wilson, co-director of Career Services. These results, however, were not representative of the entire class upon graduation, as many students were waiting to hear back from employers or just starting the job search at that time, Wilson said.
Approximately 27 percent of respondents to The Dartmouth’s questionnaire reported that they will be attending a graduate or professional program next year, and another 5 percent were still waiting for the decisions of the programs they applied to.
Christina Mai ’12 said she is excited to attend the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston immediately after graduating. Dartmouth professors have prepared pre-medical students for the academic rigors of medical school, and she feels both academically and emotionally prepared, she said.
Approximately 65 percent of respondents stated that they planned to return to school at some point in their futures. John Rutan ’12 said he believes in the importance of waiting to go to graduate school, because it helps students refocus and benefit from a motivated and intelligent peer group with diverse interests.
“I want to spend a few years helping firms address their most difficult challenges, learn more about the way businesses function and continue to hone the leadership and critical thinking skills fostered by Dartmouth,” Rutan, who will be an associate at L.E.K. Consulting in Boston, said in an email to The Dartmouth. “If all goes well and I return to get an MBA down the road, I will not only [be] ready to capitalize on that academic experience and maximize my own learning, but also contribute in a meaningful way to the education of my peers through sharing what I’ve learned from my experience helping a wide variety of firms.”
Roughly 27 percent indicated that they are unsure about whether they want to attend graduate or professional school in the future, and 6 percent said they do not have the intention of returning to school.
Over 60 percent of the students who replied stated that they will continue to live in the Northeast region of the United States. Of this group, most students reported that they will be living in either Boston or New York City.
Approximately 10 percent of respondents said they will be living in the South Atlantic, 10 percent will be in the Midwest and an additional 10 percent would live on the West Coast.
Roughly 6 percent of respondents plan on living abroad in countries including England, China and Rwanda.
The remaining 3 percent of respondents stated that they were still unsure of where they will be located next year.
Some seniors said that their decision on where to live was based on wherever they could find jobs.
John Hill ’12 said that an internship with a company during his junior summer made the decision to pursue a more permanent position at that company easy.
“Having previous work experience in the company was great because it gave me a basis for understanding the company,” Hill, who will be working for Vanguard, said. “I got to know a lot of the people, get a feel for the culture and learn about how the company works.”
Almost one-tenth of students who replied indicated that they will be remaining in Hanover, where they will either work for the College or continue their studies through one of Dartmouth’s graduate programs.
Malia Reeves ’12, who will be working as a studio art intern for the College next year, said she is looking forward to working with professors that she already knows and respects.
“Before I accepted my position here next year, I really stopped to think about whether I’d like a fifth year and the answer was yes,” Reeves said in an email to The Dartmouth. “I’m from New Mexico and absolutely cannot wait to head back to the Rocky Mountains, but I’m very happy here for now and I’m going to suck everything I can get out of this place.”
Over 90 percent of respondents indicated that they will not live in their hometown. Roughly 50 percent of respondents indicated that they will be living with other Dartmouth graduates.
While students expressed excitement about living somewhere new, many also said that they still have some concerns.
Sidny Ginsberg ’12 expressed both enthusiasm and apprehension at the prospect of moving to California, where she will be an intern at the Foundation for Sustainable Development in San Francisco.
“Coming from New York, it feels very adventurous to fly across the country and live somewhere so new,” Ginsberg said. “It’s exciting but also intimidating. But it feels safe to know that I’ll have other Dartmouth people around me in case anything goes wrong.”
Ginsberg also expressed mixed emotions about whether to maintain Dartmouth friendships or branch out and meet new people. She said she expects maintaining friendships with Dartmouth alumni will be easier than making new friends.
“My ideal would be to live in a place with other people that I don’t know so that I’d be able to meet new people,” she said. “That way, I’ll be able to make new connections, and I know I’ll still hold on to my Dartmouth friends.”